Preliminary student survey results

Limestone Learning Foundation
Preliminary student survey results
Posted on 05/21/2020
Image of survey graphic

Students, families and staff were recently invited to share their thoughts about the Limestone District School Board’s emergency remote learning during the extended school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All staff, families, and students in Grades 4 to 12 were invited to participate in an anonymous and voluntary online survey which was open from May 8 to 14, 2020. The Board of Trustees was provided with a preliminary report at the May 20, 2020 Board meeting.

The goal of the survey, says Superintendent of Education Michele Babcock, was to understand how our school communities are progressing with learning or working in a remote environment. “We wanted to understand what is working, what are the challenges, and what ongoing needs might be. This will give us a baseline of data to monitor the progress of the system as we continue learning and working remotely during the pandemic.”

More than 7,600 people participated – 2,169 students, 4,110 families and 1,323 staff – which is 22 per cent of the populations who were eligible to respond. Of the students that responded, 37 per cent are elementary students and 63 per cent are secondary. Family participation was almost reversed with 77 per cent having children in the elementary panel and 23 per cent having secondary students. Of the staff who responded, 34 per cent are educators and 24 per cent are non-educators, such as support staff.

“Given the short timeline of notice and response turnaround, this is a good response rate,” says Superintendent Babcock. Many boards larger than ours did not have this strong a response rate to similar surveys. Limestone also invited all staff to participate whereas other boards focused mainly on educators.

While the presentation to the Board was focused on student data, Superintendent Babcock says the family data mirrors the trends of the student data, and much of the data validates what staff have been thinking.

In response to a question about how they are feeling about remote learning/teaching/working, most respondent groups are feeling similar about their experience which is okay – not great, but not terrible.

Students in both panels did identify some challenges related to engagement and the workload or schedule of assignments. Elementary and secondary students highlighted that they felt that technology and communication were working well during this time of remote learning.

On the other hand, survey results show that a large percentage of our students indicate they are connected to their teacher(s) using a variety of platforms such as email, online forums and phone calls. One per cent of respondents indicated no contact with their teacher(s) up to the point of the survey.

Superintendent Babcock notes that the board will continue to monitor and connect with families of students who may not be engaging for whatever the reason. Participants were invited to provide their contact information if they wanted to discuss their feedback. Staff will be following up with these students, families and staff immediately.

Now, staff will continue to review the results, including comments, and dig deeper into the results for each group. “We know staff are doing their best to adapt to this new environment but we also know there is more work to do to keep everyone engaged,” says Superintendent Babcock. “Our goal is to understand the needs that can be addressed to improve learning and working at home for students and staff.”

Image of graphic outlining how people are feeling during remote learning

Image of graphic outlining what is working well for students during remote learning

Image of graphic outlining some of the challenges for students during remote learning

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.